Four months is that a long time or a short time? When you are waiting for your annual summer holiday it’s an age, if you have four months to prepare for Christmas or a wedding it flies by.
On 6th October 2014 I found myself in a restaurant having dinner with Seth’s twin brother and his niece. If I am honest, I am not sure that any of us really wanted to be there. We were all there out of a sense of supporting each other and some a sense of duty to Seth.
It was four short months after Seth died.
It was Seth’s birthday and Seth’s twin brother Ben had reached the milestone birthday of 50. It was devastating to think that 50 was a milestone that Seth would never see.
We all knew Ben thought his birthday was no time for celebration. It wasn’t because it was his first birthday as a bereaved sibling; the first time, he had a birthday without Seth, a twin without his twin brother on their birthday, 49 birthdays together and then the milestone reached all alone.
It wasn’t in my plan to be in that restaurant pretending that all was ok, trying to be part of life. At that time I just wanted to close the door on the world and sit and weep. Nothing was ok; nothing seemed real and it was no celebration.
I was supposed to be in Hong Kong. Our plan for Seth’s birthday was to be at the end of a three-week trip of a lifetime to China. The final few days were to be spent in Hong Kong to include Seth’s birthday.
Our trip of a life time was halted by the cessation of Seth’s life. The abrupt and cruel cessation of Seth’s life, all things ceased because of pancreatic cancer.
We always went on holiday in late Sept into early October and celebrated Seth’s birthday while we were away. There are so many pictures of Seth with a birthday cake in some overseas location usually blowing out candles in historical place. All those pictures make me smile and also invoke a terrible sadness.
Today there are no holiday locations, no birthday cake, no birthday card to sign; Seth is no longer here in person. There is however a profound presence and a warm, comforting deep seated knowledge that Seth is with me his love, spirit and humour are with me every day. It is accompanied by a deep sense of sadness, a sadness that is compounded by the knowledge that no matter how hard I try I can’t remember Seth’s 49th birthday.
I suspect I can’t remember because we were on a trip to New England, a trip during which Seth has been unwell, depressed and just not himself. So, I think we didn’t do anything to celebrate because he wasn’t feeling like it.
It makes me sad to think that Seth’s last birthday wasn’t a celebration.
Today on Seth’s birthday I gaze at the picture which was taken on the last New England holiday.
When I took the picture, then looked at it, I loved it.When Seth looked at it, he said he had a “flock of seagulls” hair day and for those of you old enough to remember the eighties you will probably get the reference. When I was finding a picture of Seth to use for publicity the film and the play I picked this one because I loved it and because I knew Seth would find it funny to be forever represented with his “flock of seagulls”.
This is only one of two pictures that I use publicly all the other wonderful pictures are mine and feel much too precious to share.
It’s been five years since Seth died five long years and five short years. He is part of the fibre of very being and he always will be.
Happy Birthday Seth I will love you with all of my heart forever.
Footnote Please make sure that for the ones you love and hold dear, every single birthday is a memorable one, one that you will always remember just in case it’s the last one that you are able to celebrate with them.